Attracting new businesses is part of Clayton County’s strategy for economic development. Serving as one of Atlanta’s central transportation hub, Clayton county aims to capitalize on features such as Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, a commuter rail service in the planning stages with proposed stations in Forest Park, Morrow, Jonesboro, and Lovejoy, easy access to four major interstate highways, healthcare, Clayton State University, a low cost of living, and the county’s recreational amenities.
In recent years, the South side has seen a steady flow of businesses to the area. Companies like Porsche and The Castellini Group have already brought hundreds of jobs and revenue to Clayton County. The Castellini Group’s 180,000 square foot processing and distributing center in Conley GA, will bring over 300 new jobs to the county. Porsche has relocated its U.S. headquarters from Sandy Springs to its newly built 150,000 square foot office tower in Hapeville. QT recently opened a $22 million facility in Ellenwood.
Clayton County, having had the distinction of providing a backdrop for classic films such as, Gone With the Wind and Smokey and the Bandit, to more recent blockbusters like The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Flight, and What to Expect When You’re Expecting, is already home to a successful movie production company. In August 2014, Pinewood Studios opened its doors in Fayetteville.
According to the Atlanta Regional Commission, the healthcare sector promises to provide the biggest job growth over the next several decades. In 2011, Dendreon Corp. completed a $70 million manufacturing and lab facility for an experimental prostate cancer drug in Union City. Piedmont Fayette Hospital has completed a $3.4 million expansion and opened a cancer center in Fayetteville in 2010. Clayton State University plays an important role in providing graduates from science, pre-pharmacy, nursing, and film and digital media programs for these industries.
Experiencing the great outdoors is a big part of what Clayton County has to offer. Although less than 20 minutes from downtown Atlanta, Clayton County provides many wooded parks, lakes and recreational facilities. Among the 51 county parks is the 130-acre wildlife sanctuary, Reynolds Nature Preserve, and the Newman Wetlands Center. Fishing and boating activities are available to the residents of the lakeside communities of Lake Spivey and Lake Jodeco, which is only minutes away from the “The Beach” – the site of 1996 Olympic competitions and part of the filming of “Hunger Games: Catching Fire.”
Many cultural events are held throughout the county. Arts Clayton, Inc. hosts the annual Beaux Arts Barbecue festival plus many dance, music, and visual arts performances. The Clayton County Schools Performing Arts Center, a technologically advanced facility seating 1,800, hosts professional, community and student productions in music, dance and drama. The internationally renowned Spivey Hall is located on the campus of Clayton College and State University (CCSU). This 400-seat recital hall, known for its perfect acoustics and exceptional programming, attracts some of the world’s finest performers. Spivey Hall hosts a year-round schedule of classical, world and jazz instrumental and vocal performances, and is regarded as the best music performance facility in the Southeast.
All these amenities and a cost of living that is 15.01 percent lower than the U.S. average, makes Clayton County a great place to call home.